Posts Tagged ‘EADS’

So what’s going on with the Tanker buy?

The President’s first 100 days are over – and still no word on what is going to happen with one of the most watched Pentagon acquisition programs in years.

The Air Force tanker program (to replace the aging KC-135’s).

SecDef Robert Gates has said he opposes a ‘dual buy’ (some from Airbus and some from Boeing) option.

There isn’t a even a concrete ‘dual buy’ proposal on the table, only suggestions from some Senate subcommittee chairmen as a way to break the impasse. And even then – the actual committee chairmen have not yet decided other than to wait to see what the Pentagon proposes.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

JSF data breach – what will the impact be?

Earlier this week – it came to light that design specifications (computer files) for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)/F-35 Lightning II stored on a Pentagon contractor computer system – had been accessed and downloaded by hackers.

One story says that the contractor’s computers were compromised as early as 2007 – and the hackers continued to access these systems.

The thing about this story – is that it isn’t new. The original allegations that the program’s computers had been compromised was first run almost a year ago in May 2008. The contractor disputed the initial IG’s report with enough vigor that the IG withdrew the report last October.

It seems that Lockheed-Martin and BAE are downplaying the incident by saying that no “classified” data was compromised But if the attackers encrypted the data streams that were being removed – how can anyone be sure what exactly was or was not accessed.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Airbus A330 tanker

Airbus A330 MRTT The Airbus A330 MRTT (multi-role tanker-transport) seen here in RAAF markings – being tested before the addition of the air refueling package.

In addition to the Australian order (5 airplanes), Airbus is currently working on these additional orders;

  • UK (RAF) – 14 aircraft (delivery in 2011, as a lease (similiar to the original Boeing 767 proposal to the USAF)
  • UAE – 3 aircraft (MOU signed in 2007)
  • Saudi Arabia – 3 aircraft (MOU signed in 2008)

I will have to hand it to the Airbus engineer’s – for their plane – they used the wing from the A340 (which was designed for 4 engines).  The refueling pods (for the probe and droque system – that everyone BUT the USAF uses) will be attached on the wings were the outboard engines would have gone.

 

Why is the Tanker contract such a big deal?


KC135 refueling EC135

Originally uploaded by rob-the-org

Unless you have been hiding under a rock or completely oblivious to Defense mattters, you know that the GAO overturned the landmark KC-X aerial refueling (tanker) contract that the US Air Force awarded to the Northrup-Grumman/EADS (Airbus) team.

Recap:

The Air Force has needed to replace the KC-135 (based on the original Boeing 707 prototype) for the last 10 years. But the controversy around this contract was thrown into the spotlight right after 9/11 (2001).

Boeing proposed a lease of converted 767’s to the US Air Force at a reduced rate (Boeing would benefit by keeping its 767 production line open, and the Air Force would get needed planes). But the scrutiny of this deal – by none other than Republican Presidential contender, John McCain – killed this deal, and resulted in the resignations/indictments of several Air Force and Boeing officals.

When the Air Force was forced to put the contract out for bid, there was a surprise bidder. EADS (Airbus) in partnership w/ Northrup-Grumman. Initially – no one thought NGA had a chance.

Read the rest of this entry »